AI for Business Intelligence

Updated: October 27, 2021

2021. Zoho Analytics 5.0 uses AI and ML to assist you in getting insights from your data


Zoho unveiled a new version of its self-service BI & analytics platform Zoho Analytics. It now includes Zoho DataPrep - an augmented data preparation and management service, available on the cloud, Zoho Analytics Embedded BI - offering ISVs and developers to integrate Zoho Analytics seamlessly into their product/solution offering and Zoho Analytics Marketplace, which allows partners and third-party vendors to build analytics apps on top of Zoho Analytics and market in Zoho Marketplace. Also included are Zoho Analytics Native Apps, apps built by us and natively embedded within third-party apps, and available in their marketplaces. With inbuilt AI assistant Zia, there’s no need to learn complex SQL querying. You can hold colloquial conversations with Zia, and get the answers you need as relevant reports.


2021. AI Data management company Databricks raises $1B



Databricks, the data-and-AI focused company that interacts with corporate information stored in the public cloud, has raises $1B. The company makes money by offering each of those open-source products as a software service and it’s doing exceedingly well at it, so much so that investors were tripping over each other to be part of this deal. In fact, Ghodsi said in a conversation with TechCrunch today that his company had targeted a much more modest $200 million raise, but that figure grew as more parties wanted to invest funds into the company. Even with that, Databricks had to turn capital away, he added, after deciding to cap the round at $1 billion.


2020. Gong.io nabs $200M to enhance CRM with voice recognition



Gong has raised a significant $200 million on a $2.2 billion valuation. Gong is trying to create a category it have dubbed “revenue intelligence.” Today sales data is stored in a CRM database consisting of descriptions of customer interactions as described by the salesperson or CSR. Gong is trying to transform that process by capturing both sides of the interaction, then, using artificial intelligence, it transcribes and analyzes those interactions. It extracts important bits out of the conversation to provide insights to customer-facing people about how they can get better at what they do, while providing insights to management about how staff is performing. It takes it one step further by offering strategic input like how your competitors are trending or how are customers responding to your products.


2020. Quantexa raises $64.7M to bring big data intelligence to risk analysis and investigations



Quantexa - the company that built a machine learning platform branded “Contextual Decision Intelligence” (CDI) that analyses disparate data points to get better insight into nefarious activity, as well as to (more productively) build better profiles of a company’s entire customer base - has picked up $64.7 million, a Series C. The startup built its business on the back of doing work for major banks and others in the financial services sector, and the plan will be to continue enhancing tools for that vertical while also expanding into two growing opportunities: working with insurance and government/public sector organizations.


2020. AI for business processes provider FortressIQ snags $30M



FortressIQ, a startup that wants to help companies use data to understand and improve internal processes, announced a $30 million Series B investment. The software was primarily about using computer vision to understand workflows, customers are now using that data to help drive their own internal transformations. That used to require a high priced consulting team to pull off, but FortressIQ is trying to use software, data and artificial intelligence to replace the consultant and expose processes that could be improved.


2020. Retina raises $2.5M for its AI-powered customer analysis software



Casting a cold eye on customer behavior and their future lifetime value has brought the Los Angeles-based startup Retina $2.5 million in new funding. Vendors can use Retina’s Shopify app to process data and get a predicted customer lifetime value. For sellers who aren’t integrated with Shopify, they can have their data processed by Retina to get that predicted customer value. Retina bases its analysis on recency, frequency and churn rates to map out customer acquisition, according to the company’s spokesperson. The software collects that data by analyzing the log of previous transactions in a customer data or payment platform, according to a statement.


2018. Zoho Analytics got AI-powered Assistant



Zoho Analytics now sports the AI-powered Zia, Zoho’s intelligent assistant. Whether it be questions like ‘Get me the support tickets received this month, by product by region’ or ‘Give me sales by country by channel’, you just ask Zia. Zia converts such questions asked in natural language to complex SQL queries in the back end, and comes up with multiple relevant report suggestions. You can save the suggestion that best suits you as a report directly. Besides, the new Zoho Analytics makes it easier to analyze data from across apps, and to easily create interactive reports and dashboards and predicts future trends accurately based on their past data. Also Zoho Analytics adds seven new connectors for popular business apps. Each of these connectors come with more than 100 pre-built domain-specific reports and KPI dashboards that users can benefit from right away.


2018. Oracle acquires predictive intelligence platform DataFox



Oracle has acquired DataFox, a startup that has amassed a huge company database — currently covering 2.8 million public and private businesses, adding 1.2 million each year — and uses AI to analyse that to make larger business predictions. The business intelligence resulting from that service can in turn be used for a range of CRM-related services: prioritising sales accounts, finding leads, and so on. The combination of Oracle and DataFox will enhance Oracle Cloud Applications with an extensive set of AI-derived company-level data and signals, enabling customers to reach even better decisions and business outcomes. DataFox will sit among Oracle’s existing portfolio of business planning services like ERP, CX, HCM and SCM.


2018. Adobe introduced AI assistant for Adobe Analytics



Adobe introduced an AI-fueled virtual assistant called Intelligent Alerts to help Adobe Analytics users find deeper insights they might have otherwise missed. The way it works is the analyst receives some alerts they can dig into to give them additional insights. If they don’t like what they’re seeing, they can tune the system and it should learn over time what the analyst needs in terms of data. They can configure how often they see the alerts and how many they want to see. This all falls within the realm of Adobe’s artificial intelligence platform they call Sensei. Adobe built Sensei with the idea of injecting intelligence across the Adobe product line.


2018. Tableau acquired AI-analytics startup Empirical Systems



Enterprise BI giant Tableau has acquired Empirical Systems, an early stage startup with AI roots. Their product is still in private Beta. It is delivered currently as an engine embedded inside other applications. That sounds like something that could slip in nicely into the Tableau analytics platform. What’s more, it will be bringing the engineering team on board for some AI knowledge, while taking advantage of this underlying advanced technology. Empirical was developed to make complex data modeling and sophisticated statistical analysis more accessible, so anyone trying to understand their data can make thoughtful, data-driven decisions based on sound analysis, regardless of their technical expertise.


2017. Tableau acquired natural language processing startup ClearGraph



Business intelligence solution provider Tableau has acquired ClearGraph, a service that lets you query and visualize large amounts of business date through natural language queries. Tableau expects to integrate this technology with its own products as it looks to make it easier for its users to use similar queries to visualize their data. Recent advances in natural language processing and machine learning now allow ClearGraph and alternative services to understand more about the underlying database and then take these sentences and essentially translate them into database queries. Given that Microsoft’s Power BI and other competitors already offer this capability, it’s no surprise that Tableau is also looking into this.


2015. Microsoft integrates Cortana into Power BI service



Microsoft announced that Cortana personal assistant is coming to Power BI, its business intelligence tool that, it’s worth noting, already had some natural language query capabilities. Once connected, Cortana can now answer questions from your Power BI data sets for written and spoken queries like “revenue for the last quarter” or draw you a chart for the “number of opportunities by team.” Users have to ensure that Cortana has access to their Power BI data sets by enabling this new feature in Power BI.  With Cortana Analytics, Microsoft also currently offers a more bespoke solution for enterprises that focuses less on the Cortana client and more on the machine learning and automation services that power Cortana.


2015. Microsoft announced voice-enabled Big Data platform Cortana Analytics Suite


Microsoft announced Cortana Analytics Suite that includes Azure ML, the company’s cloud machine learning product, PowerBI, its data visualization tool and Azure Data Catalog, a service designed for sharing and surfacing data stores inside a company. It’s a service that associates data from multiple sources on-demand, using some of the analytics technology it had developed for Power BI to make everyday data queriable by voice and accessible through touch. As for Cortana, which is the Microsoft voice-driven personal assistant tool in Windows 10, it’s a small part of the solution, but Sirosh says Microsoft named the suite after it because it symbolizes the contextualized intelligence that the company hopes to deliver across the entire suite.